Go A Year, At A Time

Adam Grant said it agreeably in his ‘work in 60 seconds’ weekly series on Linkedin, ‘Throw out your 10-year career plan. Plan for what you want to learn and contribute in the next year.’

Love your long-term planning, but complement that ambitious vision with solid, practical and down-right execution.

And while career progression is best assessed where you are 3-5 years from now – as you want to witness a perceptive improvement in your job stream, but day to day initiatives you take on a personal level that can catapult your career growth should never be discounted.

You are what you do, every day, a little better – and that sets you up for career excellence in the long-term.

For some, planning can sometimes be a decision-making fatigue, when we are constantly thinking through various options to make a qualified decision. And that further adds to our work stress, especially when we are not quite comfortable with what we will be a few years from now.

And it’s natural, nobody knows what’s going to happen or going to change – for the better or worse – in the future.But we can always turbocharge ourselves by translating that long-term plan with executable, measurable steps, for which, the algorithms of control are very much in our own hands. This is because, we can definitely make an incremental plan for a year and divide that strategically in what areas of career would best reflect our strengths at work – and then go all in to amplify them to be in a better role and position a year from now.

Small alterations can stretch your one year in your job into amassing better control on how it will shape up in the long-term.

But how do you implement a one career plan to work for the best interest of you and the company your work for?

Parking three thoughts with you, as following:

Think though the immediate business priorities of your employer brand. Straddling well between managing your employer brand and its business priorities can be difficult: one is purely building equity and share of voice in the market and the other mostly caters to commercial/ business success. So, it’s important to think of your employer’s picture of success and how will it look like a year from now with your contributions at work. Once you are aligned with your work priorities, you perform better in a deliberate way.For example, say if you are a in a marketing role at a startup that is looking to raise its first round of funding, your priority might be to prepare the organization for the next transition through a strong product focus and differentiate it via preparing various marketing and brand collateral. So you’d naturally focus on building a compelling brand that is people-centric and emotionally and functionally relevant for its internal and external stakeholder. Aside: you would also be focusing on creating a viable and scalable business model based on the investors’ business philosophy. Which also means you have to wear many hats – product, brand, investor relations, sales, human resources – to come up with something holistically concrete to communicate your organization’s growth plan to the investors. In short: you know you are working at the helm of your career and organization’s business priorities.

Be encouraged with commentary, but excel in action. We all love to talk about our ‘career commentary’, but walking the talk defines our growth, implicitly. Never be buoyed by just what you plan to do, immerse yourself into those meaningful things that can uplift your personal brand with your unique career highlights. Case in point: Gary Vaynerchuk, founder of Vayner Media, besides, his AskGaryVee show, his business podcast and daily vlogging commendably shows what he runs – in action – in away that doesn’t sound flashy and showy. Instead it gives a professional flair of credibility and social proof of why is he just so amazing with this disciplined content creation passion. In fact, he has just started ‘Pitch GaryVee’ to give people some ideas of how companies are funded, in his personal, unique investment sentiment. And that’s first-hand example of an entrepreneur in action, with encouraging content bundled into one exemplary product for people like you and me.

Kindness goes a long way in helping you ‘becoming’. What does one year career plan for to do with kindness? Well,if you ask me, it does have a link. When you are considerate with your career status quo, you tend to perform more fully by accepting your quirks with full compassion. You become more optimistic because you are grounded in reality yet boosted up with your performance fireworks. It’s simple: as you plan for every year, for a year, you are able to improve yourself and accept yourself for what you are ‘becoming’ faster than a dragging 3 year job completion yet not leaving you feeling accomplished. Congratulate yourself in one year episode review, it will leave you more energized and pumped up for the coming year!

Closing words with opening remarks from you: ‘how are you becoming a year from now – in both career and life?’

Let me know!

P.S: ‘Becoming’ (book title) by Michelle Obama inspired me to contextualize the word in shaping my career as well.

Happy holidays.

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